RALEIGH - Former U.S. Sen. Jesse A. Helms, the son of a Monroe police chief who rose to national prominence as one of the leading lions of the American right, died early this morning. He was 86.
During a political career that began with his election to the Raleigh City Council in the late 1950s and included 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Jesse Alexander Helms endeared himself to conservatives throughout the country.
Helms became known as "Senator No" for his constant battles against everything from increased government spending to civil rights legislation to communism to the National Endowment for the Arts. Helms was even willing to wage war against fellow Republicans if he felt they were straying from the conservative agenda, particularly in the area of foreign policy.
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